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Questions tagged [short-stories]

For about a fictional work too small to be called a [novel] or [novella] - usually less than 10-20 thousand words and no chapters. Use to either identify the media on a [story-identification] question or disambiguate works where the tag covers the short story and its form in other media.. If you are looking for a particular anthology of short stories, use the [anthology-book] tag instead.

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12 views

Looking for title of a short story about a girl falling down a well

I remember hearing a story from Grandpa Time clock. First of all, it’s not Alice in Wonderland. The girl falls down the well washing something of her mother’s. She wakes up to find she’s elsewhere. ...
12 votes
0 answers
104 views

Short story about a haunted hotel room with a stain on the wallpaper

The story is about a man who comes to a hotel as part of his travels. He has stayed there before and even notices that the man at the front desk is acting in a more formal fashion to him than usual. ...
6 votes
0 answers
105 views

Science fiction short story where a boy eats cereal with coffee creamer

I've looked everywhere but I cannot find this story. I read it in 2017 on a school education site, or some other school assignment. From what I remember, the story goes: A boy wakes up in his house ...
12 votes
1 answer
231 views

Short story with a girl gang who like to whistle the tune of "I Wish I Was an Oscar Mayer Wiener"

I have the traces of a short story bouncing around in my head. I'd guess it dates from the late 60's, or maybe 70's. A guy has been out of circulation for several years (military? prison?) and ...
13 votes
1 answer
550 views

Short "moral" story about atomic power and a book of civilizations

I read this in my primary school reading book in the '80s, I believe the author name was English but I'm not sure. The story goes something like this: An employee of some sort of galactic federation ...
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Time Machine Short Story in Letter/Essay format

I'm trying to remember the name of a short story that's written in the form of a letter to a doctor/professor (I think). The writer of the letter/essay, who is a scientist, describes an experience ...
4 votes
0 answers
81 views

Hugo / Nebula Award Winning Short Story about a young man enslaved on Ganymede

I read an inspirational sci fi short story about a young man who is enslaved to collect water on Ganymede, where everyone is burnished by the sun to a dark golden brown color and wears loincloths. ...
4 votes
0 answers
56 views

Book or story about a lonely man who orders and falls in love with a customized android after his wife passed away and his son went to college

The story focuses on a man who is lonely after his wife passed away and his son went to college. He orders a customized android, but I think he makes it look different from his wife, and they go out ...
10 votes
0 answers
73 views

"Gods" create cold-blooded humanoids who lay eggs in a fire cave

This is a short story written before 1995. The main characters are two beings referred to as the "gods". They arrive on an uninhabited planet and design a race to live there. They make them ...
12 votes
1 answer
599 views

A dancing automaton short story

I read this short story at least 40 years ago, most probably in a collection. I read it in French, but I think the collection consisted of translations from various languages. That one might well have ...
25 votes
1 answer
4k views

Short story: telepathy has all but destroyed the female population of Earth. Returning astronauts offer hope of repopulation

From an anthology read in my youth in the 70's. I recall it has the crew of a deep range rocket being feted on their return because the female crew members may be able to bear children (they had been ...
5 votes
0 answers
53 views

Science-fiction story about Earth people developing telepathy and eventually getting depopulated [duplicate]

A science fiction story, where some space explorers are to embark on a space journey. Just before the journey, the people of the Earth are showing unexpected signs of telepathy. The space exploration ...
20 votes
1 answer
2k views

Book or story which describes "flappers", who lift the ears of a leader when they want them to hear information

I remember reading a book or story in the late 60s or early 70s in which information control to a leader is controlled by "flappers" who lift the ear flaps of the leader when they want to ...
10 votes
1 answer
166 views

Short story/novel from 90's or late 80's involving monsters called "Eaters"

What I remember of the book was: something happened and monsters called "Eaters" appeared and humans had to band together and use lights to keep them at bay. It wasn't a very long book more ...
6 votes
0 answers
78 views

Protagonist fails psychological evaluation for politicians

I'm remembering a story from Analog, I think, about a near-future politician running for Senate (or some other major office). It is accepted practice (perhaps not legally required) for a particular ...
24 votes
1 answer
1k views

Time Travel Not Far Enough

A sci fi anthology had a short story about a time traveler who invented a machine that may have caused a catastrophic event by its use. The traveler from the future showed up to the front porch of ...
20 votes
2 answers
3k views

Scientist swaps body with dictator

This is a short story from an anthology printed before 1997. The main character (MC) is a scientist living in a future dictatorship. The dictator is human but has been made functionally immortal. His ...
2 votes
1 answer
178 views

Science fiction story about settling a planet with Adam and Eve

I read the story in a science fiction anthology in the early 80s. Two human forms, one male and one female were put on a planet by an advanced technology starship. A plot of the planet was made ...
22 votes
0 answers
403 views

Short story where a goddess promises a priestess she will see the future, but the way she held her promise was not what was expected

I'm looking for a rather short fiction which I read at least 30 years ago; probably from some collection. A priestess is praying to her goddess as their city is being invaded by barbarians and she ...
12 votes
1 answer
196 views

Short story with audible computer networks

I am looking for a short story where all the computer to computer communications were audible to humans. After being exposed to this for long enough the younger generations start creating music ...
5 votes
0 answers
91 views

A short "Detective story" without detectives but with a Fantasy element

I call it a "Detective story" because I read it in a detective stories magazine in French I borrowed in a "street library" then I returned it there. I had to be "before Covid&...
7 votes
1 answer
126 views

Fantasy short story where an artist sees in an oneiric vision a woman who has died years earlier

I read this fantasy short story in a collection, in French, only 5 or 6 years ago, but "before Covid". I think, however, that it is much older. It takes place, I believe, about 150 or 200 ...
-3 votes
1 answer
83 views

The Unforgiven in Cordwainer Smith stories [closed]

Who were The Unforgiven in Cordwainer Smith’s stories?
7 votes
0 answers
70 views

A short story about a haunted room in a partially old mansion. Not "horror", the ghost does no harm

I read this fantasy short story in a collection about 20 years ago. Of course, it could be much older. A rich man who has many friends likes having people around. But it happens that he invites too ...
3 votes
1 answer
93 views

Post-pocalyptic story featuring a dome (dome city?) and a robot zoo

Please help me identify a story. I haven't read it or watched, and unfortunately I don't remember if it was an anime or not, but I believe I stumbled upon it about the time I looked Ergo Proxy on ...
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

SF short story NOT by Asimov, ends with "Let there be light!"

I am trying to re-find an sf short story I read in a compilation paperback some 50 years ago. No memory now of compilation title, story title or author! But it did make a notable impression on me then ...
9 votes
2 answers
383 views

Short story: Transported to the moon as criminal punishment, people doing crimes to go on purpose

Not sure exactly when this was published. I think it was in Asimov's or Analog, but not sure on that. It might have been on one of the big-round-number anniversaries of Heinlein's, because it has a ...
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Story about someone selling his soul to the Devil and losing...with a twist

Short story I read many decades ago about an astronomer who had a bet with the Devil, he lost the bet and forfeited his soul, but he somehow won because part of the deal was that the Devil had to ...
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

Disease of too-much concentration

I read this in the early 2000s I think in Asimovs or F&SF. The main character has a friend who thinks he would have done better in life by not being so distractable, and instead concentrating on ...
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

Short story in which a driver picks up hitchhikers who each try to kill him for political reasons

As a driver listens to the news on radio, first it's a race war, and his black passenger tries to kill him. Then he picks up a woman as a flyer calling for death to men falls from her purse she tries ...
7 votes
1 answer
170 views

Short story involving looking into the past and parallel versions of Jesus

On Episode 352 of the "Flop House" podcast, one of the hosts, Elliott Kalan, mentions recalling a short story from Asimov’s sometime in the past 30 years involving: A technology involving ...
9 votes
1 answer
624 views

Short story involving a symbiotic space suit and a war against aliens

I’m trying to track down a short story that I read from my high school library in the late 80s. It would have been from one of the many short story paperback collections in circulation at the time. ...
15 votes
1 answer
802 views

Short story in which humans are the first stage in a metamorphic cycle that advances when eating a particular substance?

My father and I are trying unsuccessfully to locate a science fiction short story we both remember reading but can’t identify. The detail we remember is that some human crew members meet who they ...
11 votes
1 answer
314 views

Story about robots and unemployment

This is an Analog story I think - I'm not sure from when (20th century, surely). It has a contrived setup, involving massive unemployment caused by the existence of humanoid robots, solved by someone ...
6 votes
0 answers
72 views

Short children's story about an android who thinks they're human who creates an android

The Tomato Surprise TV Tropes entry describes a story about an android who thinks they're human who creates an android. In a short story in a children's book, the protagonist is a young prodigy ...
6 votes
0 answers
96 views

short story in which humans capture superior aliens in order to study them [duplicate]

Short story, possibly from 60s, 70s or even 80s. There is a galactic community of aliens. Alephs are at the apex with what appears to be telepathy and teleportation that may be innate or from ...
17 votes
1 answer
852 views

A short fiction about an American poetess who supposedly foiled, thanks to posthumous poems, the Martian invasion described by H. G. Wells

I read this story (IIRC novelette length rather than "short story") about 10 or so years ago, probably in a collection. It is a hilarious spoof of an academic article. This "article&...
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Scientist travels back in time to murder his wife’s secret lover

I had this short story about a scientist who discovers his wife is cheating and invents a way to travel back in time to kill her lover before they met or something. I believe the scientist ends up the ...
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

1980s (or 90s) story from "Asimov's" - man is cursed with success at Bingo

I have a vague memory of a man who goes to bingo games (possibly at a trailer park); he talks to someone who has been winning all night in the parking lot after the night is always, and somehow is ...
24 votes
1 answer
3k views

Cyberpunk short story : Two hackers empty all the bank accounts of a female criminal

I read this short story at least 20 years ago, probably in a collection. But it might well be older than that. Two hackers, using a pirate program that one of them had obtained (I'm not sure how, but ...
7 votes
1 answer
168 views

Short story, Reston bike paths, dead mom, WHFS

Looking for a short story about WHFS radio station ("the weasel"), Reston bike paths, 1980s, dead mom, etc. I think it was from the mid 2000s and may have been in Sci Fiction webzine (the ...
13 votes
0 answers
137 views

Sci-fi short story I read in highschool around 30 years ago about a dying alien race

I may be getting the details slight wrong, but here we go: It was a story about a dying alien race that had been either conquered or just slowly exterminated by humanity. And the way that the ...
24 votes
1 answer
2k views

Short story about a late night feline meeting

I'm trying to find a story I read once about a late night cat meeting. Cats from all over this city are called somehow to sneak out at night for this gathering. I think in the story you're following 1 ...
4 votes
1 answer
85 views

Online story - mother tempted by youth leader, demonic possession involving a movie

I read this story online in the last five years or so. I think it's a long short story or possibly a novelette. The main character is a woman with two teenage sons. The sons go to scout or church ...
8 votes
1 answer
579 views

Horror short story : a character escapes from a sinister castle and finds a beautiful one

I read this horror short story, probably in a collection, about 20 years ago. But somehow I think it is much older than that. The POV character lives alone in a sinister castle. He does not remember ...
6 votes
3 answers
691 views

Short story about shoes that may have talked to other pairs of shoes and were possibly trying to find their owner or way home

I’m trying to find the name of a short story I read in the 1990s about shoes! It came from a book of short stories, but I had only known it to have been photocopied, as it was a book from the library. ...
12 votes
1 answer
5k views

Short story or book about a space crew on a broken ship who were capturing alien animals for a zoo

I would like to know the title and author of a short story I read a long time ago. It's about 3 men in space. They were sent to different planets to catch other organisms on different planets. ...
23 votes
3 answers
2k views

Short story about a woman and an alien symbiote who live in the vacuum in Saturn's rings

I read this short story before 2000, possibly in the '80s. It is about a woman who usually lives out in the vacuum of space, I believe in the rings of Saturn, and survives through connection to a ...
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Very short story on Mars. Possibly one of Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, but maybe not

The answer to a recent question of mine was one of the Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. This reminded me of my very first touch with SF. It had to be in 1962 at the very latest because I remember ...
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Short story or novella in which the protagonist's hypnosis-protecting glasses get displaced by a beaded curtain, rendering him vulnerable [duplicate]

I'm looking for the title & author of an old classic sci-fi short story or novella I read about 50 years ago (story written in the 1940s, 50s, or 60s?) where the protagonist (cop?) is pursuing the ...

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